This article was originally published on Kiplinger – https://www.kiplinger.com/
Bitcoin is back. Kind of.
The biggest financial story of 2017, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was worth less than $1,000 in January, then worth more than $29,000 by December. As 2018 opened, the Bitcoin market was worth over $250 billion – more than AT&T (T).
The new year was unkind to Bitcoin, which quickly dipped to $15,000, then $10,000, and fell to nearly $6,000. It recovered from there but has spent much of the past month dipping back below $7,000. Now, though, Bitcoin is suddenly a hot topic once more, with the cryptocurrency jumping $1,000 in less than an hour recently, and volume suddenly recovering.
But there is so much more to the cryptocurrency story than Bitcoin.
By April 2018, more than 1,500 of these currencies were in circulation, sporting a market value of nearly $330 billion, according to Coinmarketcap, which tracks the market. Some of these cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, are designed to handle more transactions than Bitcoin. Others are designed to protect user privacy, or separate the process of finding the coins or “mining” them from the process of trading them. Still others are designed to stand in for real currencies in international trade.
If you want to get to better know the cryptocurrency world, you need to move beyond just Bitcoin. Here’s a look at 10 of the more important cryptocurrencies in existence, including how they came to be, what distinguishes them and what they may be good for.
Data is as of April 13, 2018. However, cryptocurrency prices move very quickly and can change significantly by time of reading.